Madwire is good at a lot of things. We developed the outstanding Marketing 360® software platform. We have thousands of happy clients leaving positive Marketing 360 reviews. We’ve consistently been one of the top growing tech/internet firms in Colorado – a place full of tech/internet firms.
And ya, we’re not terribly shy about saying we’re damned good at what we do. Nothing wrong with some swagger.
But none of this would be possible without a positive company culture. Having the right people doing work they’re good at in an environment they love is as important to business success as having a great product – maybe even more important.
When we get visitors in our Fort Collins office, they’re immediately hit by the vibe: high energy, enthusiastic, and team-oriented. Our sales board rocks, high-fives are spontaneous, and laughter is unrestrained.
And it’s really busy. Consultants on headphones pace the floor, explaining SEO, social media marketing, and design in terms of what’s happening today. Marketing executives report on progress, always with an optimistic view of what’s possible. Developers peer into their computer screens as if their vision is riding the bandwidth wave into the internet itself.
A strong company culture helps you recruit top talent – and keep them. It translates into superior customer service. Simply put, happy employees are better at their job.
So you want to know how we create such a fun, diligent culture for your business? Here’s JB with some tips:
Tip #1: Have a Company Motto
A company motto is not your marketing tagline. It’s an internal motto your people rally around.
At Madwire, our motto is “Execution Excellence”. When you work here and you see something that needs to be done, you do it. That goes from picking up trash off the floor to picking up a teammate’s phone and helping their client. Execution excellence is forward action, determination. We just don’t believe in quitting around here.
Think about an attitude you want to permeate your organization. A mindset you want your people to fall back on. This is your company motto.
Tip #2: Ask for and Listen to Company Feedback
Everyone likes to know that their opinion is respected. You can do a lot for your company culture when you ask for and respond to feedback.
At Madwire, we ask for a monthly feedback form where employees can talk about things they did well that month, make suggestions on any topic, give shoutouts to teammates, and share training ideas.
The management listens to this input and acts on it.
Respecting opinions and being a good listener gets people to buy into your culture. It’s a vital step.
Tip #3: Hire Positive Minded People
Today, there is an increasing tendency for businesses to put less emphasis on skill sets and more on how well the person “fits” the culture.
In many verticals (like digital marketing) this makes complete sense because skill sets are in constant flux. The person you want to hire is the one who can learn and adapt as the world changes around them.
But even if your work is fairly stable with certain required skill sets, there are huge benefits to favoring positive minded people.
Positive minded doesn’t mean pollyannaish. But it does mean someone who is optimistic about being able to overcome challenges – the “can do” attitude.
Even more, it’s an aspect of professionalism. Positivity is a demeanor that affects everyone around you – as is pessimism. Positive people who are strategic, realistic, and optimistic are a fantastic resource when new problems need solving.
Also, smiling feels better than frowning. Work is serious, but that doesn’t mean we have to take everything seriously.
Tip #4 Show Employees You Care
Sometimes, we need to revel in a bit of glory. Create some achievement awards – even if they’re just for bragging rights. Highlight individual successes. When goals are hit, have a celebration, like tacos on Tuesday or a company FAC.
This helps you avoid the common rut of dwelling on problems when you evaluate people. For example, the best writing course I ever took worked because the instructor made everyone start their feedback with one thing they liked about the piece. It not only set a positive tone, but it got people to listen carefully to the critical comments.
If all you give is negative, critical feedback – even when that’s what’s called for – you undermine the positivity that’s such an important part of company culture.
Tip #5 Ask for Employee Reviews
If you haven’t set up a Glassdoor profile, do so now.
Glassdoor is not only perfect for letting employees give feedback about their work experience, it’s great for showing off your positive company culture to attract new talent.
The best talent out there (and the most diligent) will check you on Glassdoor as they decide if you’re right for them. Valuable recruiting connections often start on this site.
Tip #6 Do Consistent Employee Reviews
Whether it’s monthly, every six months, or annually, do employee reviews consistently. This lets you highlight what people are doing well and provide constructive criticism. This is a way to mentor people so they continue to grow – which keeps your company culture vibrant.
Tip #7 Set High Goals
A sense of stagnation and a vibrant company culture cannot exist together. When people are bored and unchallenged, they’ll start looking for something new.
Set tangible goals for individuals, teams, and your company as a whole. Use these to motivate and innovate.
This will keep your culture reaching and pushing itself to higher levels.
And the main benefits are in the journey. You may not always reach your goal, but the effort will bring greater company culture overall.
Tip #8 Be Transparent
At Madwire, we have a weekly all-hands meeting where whatever is happening with our company – good and bad – is discussed. Staff is never in the dark with regards to the work and goals of our company.
With the team invested and knowledgeable about the direction everything is headed, you’ll have a force that’s tough to stop.